Four Million Cubic Yards of Dredge Rock to be Deployed at Nine Reefs
Beginning in April 2009, four million cubic yards of rock generated from New York District, Army Corps of Engineers dredging operations will be deployed on nine New Jersey reefs over the next three years as part of the Artificial Reef Program. The dredge rock, consisting of shale, sandstone and granite ranges in size from basketball-sized pieces to boulders. The rock will be transported from areas along the Kill Van Kull, Arthur Kill and Newark Bay via tugboats and deployed by hopper scows at predetermined locations. During these reef construction efforts the work will be continuous so boaters must constantly be aware of the reduced maneuverability of the tugs and allow them the right-of-way. Commercial fishers must relocate their gear to other areas not slated for deployment or risk gear damage.
The following nine reefs will be receiving dredge rock:
Shark River, Axel Carlson, Garden State North, Atlantic City, Great Egg, Townsend Inlet, Wildwood, Deepwater and Cape May.
Adding rock to the ocean floor provides much needed hard-structure habitat for fish, lobster and other marine life. The rocky ridges and rock piles will become attachment surfaces for invertebrate marine life, such as mussels, barnacles, sponges and anemones, and will provide hiding places for bottom-dwelling species like sea bass, blackfish, crab and lobster. The rock will create productive fishing grounds for centuries to come.
The deployment schedule is subject to weather and sea conditions. Rock deployments will commence on 4/21/2009 at the Cape May, Great Egg, Deepwater, Wildwood, Townsends Inlet, Atlantic City and Garden State North Reefs. Rock deployments at the Axel Carlson and Shark River Reefs will commence during 2010.
For further information on this deployment contact Hugh Carberry at 609-748-2022.
For information on past and planned deployments see the Artificial Reef Deployments page.
Below are maps of reef grids for the nine reefs in PDF format. Each grid depicts the deployment locations as well as associated 150 foot buffer areas. These deployment locations and buffers should be avoided by commercial fishers who set unattended gear such as pots and traps. Setting pots or traps in these areas may result in damage or loss of gear.